While Men in Black International looks to expand the titular agency's mission beyond the United States as the title implies, the upcoming film will also change the organization's history, making it far older than previous films suggested.
Production designer Charles Wood has revealed that the new movie will show the agency beginning approximately a century ago, with locations in major cities all over the world.
"Whereas the original look of Men in Black was sort of set in the 1960s," explained Wood in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "We’re actually taking it back in time and saying that International exists in many cities around the world, and maybe even started a century ago.”
2002's Men in Black II, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, featured a deliberately cheap mockumentary hosted by Peter Graves, playing himself. The in-universe documentary showed the origins of the agency, with the American government making first contact with extraterrestrials in 1961. With this new origin, the agency will not only be multinational, but be decades older than originally depicted.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, Men in Black International stars Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Laurent Bourgeois and Larry Bourgeois, with Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson. The film opens on June 14.